BALTIMORE (AP) - Baltimore's hitters staged an improbable comeback Friday night.
They just couldn't pull the Orioles all the way out of the big hole their pitchers put them in.
Kelly Johnson hit a three-run homer and an RBI single and the Tampa Bay Rays held on for a 12-10 victory over slumping Baltimore on Friday night.
The Orioles, who trailed 12-4 after six innings, surrendered a season-high 17 hits for the second straight game and gave up their most runs in any game this season. Baltimore has allowed 27 runs and 52 hits while losing four of its last five games.
``I felt like we we're going to make a run at them somewhere if we could keep them from scoring. That was our challenge tonight,' Baltimore manager Buck Showalter said.
Chris Dickerson hit a three-run homer in Baltimore's six-run eighth inning, but the Orioles' rally stalled from there.
Manny Machado, Chris Davis and Matt Wieters each drove in two runs for Baltimore, which finished with 13 hits. J.J. Hardy went 2 for 3 with his eighth homer, extending his hitting streak to 12 games.
Orioles starter Jason Hammel (5-2) allowed a season-high seven runs and 10 hits in 4 2-3 innings with four strikeouts and two walks in his first loss since April 7.
``His command, he's fighting himself, not getting the ball where he wants to get it,' Showalter said. ``Stuff-wise, he's in pretty good shape, but there are two parts to that equation and nobody knows that better than Jason.'
The right-hander's ERA has increased from 4.10 to 5.72 after allowing 13 runs and 18 hits over his last two starts.
``I'm missing over the plate, arm-side fastballs. That's honestly about it,' Hammel said. ``It's a pretty simple fix, but for right now it's seemingly difficult for me. I've been here before. I've figured it out before so I'm not going to continue to beat myself up.'
After Hammel departed, relievers Alex Burnett and Troy Patton combined to allow five runs.
Jeremy Hellickson (2-2) was charged with eight runs and 10 hits in 7 2-3 innings, but still managed to get the win.
Joel Peralta got four outs for his first save one night after closer Fernando Rodney threw 35 pitches in allowing three ninth-inning runs in a 4-3 loss to Boston.
Hammel left his last start trailing Minnesota 6-0, but the Orioles rallied for a win. It almost happened again.
``After that eighth inning, I thought so,' Hammel said. ``It was pretty impressive. These guys can score runs. It's not the hitters' problem right now.'
Johnson and Yunel Escobar had three hits apiece in Tampa Bay's highest scoring game of the season. Escobar also drove in three runs and Desmond Jennings added two hits and two RBIs.
Johnson drove a full-count pitch from Hammel over the wall in right in the third, capping Tampa Bay's four-run outburst with his sixth homer. Johnson singled in James Loney, Escobar doubled home a run and Jennings had a two-run single in the fifth, helping the Rays open a 9-3 lead.
``We really should have been able to put that game away a lot better,' Rays manager Joe Maddon said. ``I did not want to have to get Joel or Fernando up tonight. That was the concern.'
After Dickerson connected against Kyle Farnsworth in the eighth, Yamaico Navarro reached on a two-out single. Peralta then came in and got Nate McLouth to fly out.
``(We) get the tying run to the plate there, pretty proud of them, but it's very obvious we didn't pitch very well tonight as a group,' Showalter said.
NOTES: Tampa Bay 3B Evan Longoria went 2 for 3 while extending his hitting streak to 11 games. ... Baltimore RHP Miguel Gonzalez (blister) likely will start Tuesday against the New York Yankees barring a setback, Showalter said. Placed on the 15-day DL on May 4, Gonzalez is 2-2 in six starts. ... RHP Jair Jurrjens will be recalled from Triple-A Norfolk to start on Saturday, Showalter said. The former NL All-Star will face RHP Roberto Hernandez.
The Associated Press News Service
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